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A Better Way to Manage and Empower Call Center Agents with Quality Monitoring Software

We've all heard that recording while we're waiting for an agent to pick up our call: "This call will be recorded for quality control." Sure, the call will be recorded, but is anyone ever going to play it back and actually use it for anything other than troubleshooting some unfortunate incident that soured some customer...

Top 5 Ways Automated Customer Service Helps Utilities Deliver an Amazing Customer Experience

Automating customer service for utilities providers can do a lot more than just save on costs. It's a service that reaches out to the customer with a busy schedule and little time, allowing that customer the ability to access important information without waiting in a queue to speak to a representative. Although you may worry...

Call Center Workforce Management (WFM) Software: "Works For Me" and Other Abbreviations

In the context of call center management, workforce management (WFM) is both a residual and inherent benefit of automating the whole process. The calls come in and go up on the rep’s scoreboard and the stats don’t lie. They are what they are and you use them to reward, motivate or penalize call center performers....

Regarding Your IVR: You’re Doing it Wrong

Think for a minute about the goal you want to achieve with your interactive voice response - IVR system. Are you trying to process calls as quickly as possible? Or limit the number of calls that go to a live customer service agent? If you answered yes to either of these questions, we have news...

Keeping happy customers loyal with thoughtful outbound notifications

The problem with the average “good idea” is translating the idea to action and harnessing the limited resources in between. One good idea is proactive outreach (using automated outbound voice with an IVR system integrated with an automated dialer) to a known satisfied customer. That customer bought your product or service, and you took the...

Multi-channel customer self-service is the ultimate shopping cart

What’s all this about “multi-channel”? If you like visual explanations, think of multi-channel customer self service as a center circle surrounded by smaller, orbiting circles. That center circle would be your call center portal. Those orbiting circles would be your customers’ channels. A channel is the platform (or means) your customers use to find, contact...

Workforce Management and Getting Everyone to Row Together

You may have heard this one: The galley slavemaster tells his crew that he has both good news and bad news. The good news is that everyone is getting an extra ration of hand cream. The bad news is that the ship’s captain has decided to take up water skiing. The rowers in this classic...

IVR Gets a Bad Rap

Sometimes ridiculed as both a maze and a labyrinth, interactive voice response (IVR) systems have been easy targets of cheap shots. Everybody has their own memory of a bad experience with an IVR that typically started with “Si usted habla español, oprima número uno” and ended three minutes later with this message: “To contact a...

10 ways IVR can improve the customer experience

IVR is the abbreviation for interactive voice response, but the first two letters could also signify an injection of new life into your customers’ experience - as in a medical IV.  How are your customers going to connect with a well-designed IVR system? Let us count the ways: 1. Efficient Call Routing The built-in call...

Happy call center agents = happy customers

UPDATE: This article was also published in the ICMI blog If we accept the premise that happy call center agents make for happy customers, we have to agree on at least one of our definitions. We pretty much know what makes for happy customers, because they either tell us in so many words, or show...

Enhancing the customer experience in the cloud

If you’re running an on-premise contact center and your computer support equipment is beginning to age a bit, you may be at a decision crossroads: Should you shell out the big bucks for new hardware? While you’re at it, what about the great new integrated customer management technology that everyone has been telling you about?...

The Role of Customer Interface in Customer Experience Management

According to experts, the essence of customer experience management (CEM) – the process of managing a customer's entire experience with a product or a company – is treating customers as individuals. However, with the growing trend toward online purchases and socialization, interactions through traditional channels, such as in-store purchases and call center communications, often fall...

Creating a Seamless Customer Experience Across Channels

In the modern age people are extremely savvy about technological channels of communication and are selective about the usage of such channels. With options expanded from traditional technologies such as phone and email to newer channels such as chat and social media, one thing is clear about people’s use of such communication means: they strive...

The Power of a Personalized Experience Starts with Customer Preferences

In her article The Power of a Personalized Experience, Cynthia Clark at 1to1Media echoed our own sentiments about personalizing the customer experience through preferences in an article we posted earlier this month. After considering her own experiences with a corner grocer who knew her mother's preferences without the use of technology and a database, and...

The hills are alive with the sound of... the Voice of the Customer!

Remember the memorable camera shot at the beginning of the Julie Andrews movie, “The Sound of Music”? This 1965 classic begins with an aerial shot of the Austrian Alps and pans in on Ms. Andrews, who exuberantly croons the memorable, “The hills are alive…!” At the risk of mistreating a metaphor, one could say that...

How Workforce Management (WFM) software keeps honest people honest

Probably one of the most sensitive and difficult management challenges is, as one CallCenter magazine piece puts it (rather dryly), “monitor(ing) each agent’s adherence to schedules.”  In medium to large call centers, when the agent logs in, it is the equivalent to punching a time card. The “adherence” part is all about ensuring the monitoring...

Workforce Management (WFM) software is critical to your call center operation

Workforce management (WFM) software is becoming more and more popular with companies that rely on efficient call center support. Call centers are the “front door” to your operation. Scheduling the right combination of people to match the peaks and valleys of customer calls is all about knowing how and when to schedule your greeters and...

Workforce management (WFM) software works better than intuition

Need to make your call center more productive, less wasteful of time and talent and your bottom line closer to your top estimates? Workforce management (WFM) software is your key resource in meeting all three of those goals. According to a “CallCenter” Magazine piece… “The most important thing that most call centers can do to improve...

Improving the Customer Experience With Preferences

  The modern online consumer world is one in which there is an explosion of data available about our tastes. Google’s search is highly personalized and part of the search engine leader’s corporate vision is making its search as uniquely fine-tuned to the user as possible. Also, anyone with a Netflix account knows how deeply...

Why the Voice of the Customer is a Driver of ROI

When discussing return on investment (ROI), it is very tempting to focus on the factors that seem to be the most concrete: hardware costs, recurring monthly service fees, IT salaries, and other items that easily transfer over to a balance sheet. However, in the field of contact centers that deal with direct customer engagement, we...